Sunday, 20 January 2008

Short Thoughts on Leadership

Over the past year or so I have been reading and thinking a lot about leadership. The catalyst for this came from a number of sources. Firstly our company invests a lot of money on performing employee engagement surveys. My teams level of engagement was terrible and it seems that no matter what I did it would not improve. Secondly it became aparent to me that while I didn't see myself as a leader (the whole concept made me quiver with fear) other people did. So I thought best I find out some more about this. The short results of my search to date:

The Essence of Leadership

  1. Play to peoples strengths.
  2. Be a role model.
  3. Ensure everyone knows what's important and what we are aiming to achieve then let them make their own decisions on how things are to be done to make this happen.
  4. Performance measures are a powerful way of showing people what is important.
    a. Set the direction.
    b. Celebrate progress.
    c. Coach and mentor
  5. Set expectations of trust based on demonstrated trustworthiness and an individuals personal growth goals
  6. Support and coach people on their journey. Remember you can't travel for them (or it's not their journey)!
  7. Remember that ultimately great leadership is measured by the results achieved.
  8. Great leaders grow based on their extraordinary strengths not their lack of weakness.

So a starter for 10. Maybe I'll add some more thoughts on leadership later.


Anonymous said...

Hey Owen, totally agree with the insight you shared in 'Guide the Passion'. Nice spin where you link the lesson in family life to what you could use in work life!

Well done,

Chris M

Anonymous said...

I found it and it's good! G

Clint Walton said...

I found your blog link from your Covey community page. On your #1 thought: Play to peoples strengths... What do you think about "Go put your strengths to work" by Marcus Buckingham?

You can reach me at - or at

Owen McCall said...


Thanks for your comment on the blog. I am a fan of Marcus Buckingham's work. Lately I have spent a lot of time pondering who I am and one of the key questions I have asked as part of this inquiry is what are my strengths in the terms that he talks about. That is what I am good at and leaves me feeling energized and "up".

I believe there is very good synergy between his work and that of Dr Covey's 8th habit with Buckingham's strengths being very similar to Covey's talent and passion.